Top Garden Trends For 2022
See what's hot and what's not in gardening this year, from new trends in houseplants to growing native plants for pollinators and wildlife.
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Planting Hyper-Local Natives
Interest in native plants has been growing over the last decade. Some gardeners are going further by seeking out plants that grow in the wild within 50 miles of their home. This can be challenging, according to Ed Lyon, director of Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa.
Most people don’t live in areas that have been undisturbed for hundreds of years. What some perceive as native vegetation could have been brought in by previous settlers or naturalized from surrounding areas. The land itself may have been deforested, or sculpted to create new bodies of water. These changes alter what kinds of plants grow there.
If you desire to grow species native to your neighborhood, do some thorough research first. Your local historical society, botanical garden and University Extension office are good places to start.
Living Screens vs. Plastic Fences
A plastic fence served its purpose when all you did was look out the window. But now that people are spending more time in their yards, they want something beautiful and functional to separate their property from their neighbor’s.
Living hedges like the Instant Hedge and Full Speed a Hedge ‘American Pillar’ arborvitaes that grow three feet per year are being installed in yards across in the U.S. Living walls are also popping up on patios and balconies in apartment complexes.
Consult with a local landscape company or nursery to find the best plants in your climate for a privacy screen. Be sure to factor hardiness, water requirements and deer resistance into your decision.
Gardening for Mental and Physical Health
Coronavirus pandemic restrictions have taken a toll on many of us, bringing the importance of mental and physical health to light. The garden can be a safe, life-affirming space to rebalance and re-energize, helping us take on life’s circumstances. There’s something purely satisfying about tilling up the soil in the garden or digging a hole to plant a new tree.
The America in Bloom organization has documented numerous health and well-being benefits of growing plants, including faster healing, improved memory and attention spans, and reduced stress. Gardening is good for you!
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Growing Healthy Food
Ever since food recalls began popping up regularly in the news, people have been finding ways to grow at least some of their own produce.
Whether you have a few pots on a balcony or a huge backyard vegetable garden, you can grow healthy food. Tomatoes and peppers, cut-and-come-again lettuce, dwarf blueberries and thornless raspberry bushes will all grow in large patio pots.
When you grow your own, you decide whether to produce it organically so you’ll know exactly what you are feeding your family. It’s about growing peace of mind as much as it is harvesting that basket of fresh-picked strawberries.
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Multipurpose Outdoor Spaces
As people spend more time at home, they look to make better use of every inch of their property.
According to landscape architect Phil Steinhauer of Designscapes Colorado, creating spaces for outdoor offices, dining and recreation is a top priority for many homeowners. Swimming pools are also becoming popular again as homeowners choose staycations over leaving town to go to the beach.
Take a look around your landscape and reassess how you’re using the space. Perhaps how you once divided things up no longer makes the most sense. Consider even small changes that benefit you and your family.
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Gardening for Pollinators, Birds and Other Wildlife
For many gardeners deciding what to grow, how a plant attracts and provides sustenance for pollinators is as much a factor as its visual beauty.
Supporting native bees and butterflies has been trending for several years. Now, people are extending their interests further by learning more about birding and other important wildlife like foxes and coyotes. After all, they’re all connected.
The National Wildlife Foundation offers a native plant finder to determine what kinds of plants in your area host the most pollinators, which in turn feed other wildlife. You could also transform your yard into a Certified Wildlife Habitat that provides food and shelter for birds, bees and small mammals.
There is tremendous joy in watching plants grow from tiny seeds into flowers, fruits and vegetables. This is often where new gardeners begin. They plant their first packet of sunflowers or beans, then get hooked by watching them quickly grow into something beautiful and useful.
More than 18 million people gardened for the first time in 2020, according to a report by the National Gardening Association. This explains why seed sales skyrocketed over the same period of time. Join in the fun this year! There are endless choices of amazing plants you can grow from seeds.
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Growing Your Own Bouquet
Thanks to popular social media influencers like Laura of Garden Answer in Eastern Oregon and Erin of Floret Flower Farm in Washington, people are feeling empowered to grow their own flowers. Small flower farms are popping up across the country to service people looking to cut their own bouquets or buy seeds to grow flowers for a backyard wedding.
The Slow Flowers Movement, led by Debra Prinzing, helps home gardeners learn how to grow bouquets, instead of relying on imported flowers that often lack the fragrance and character of homegrown.
2022 Pantone Color of the Year “Very Peri”
Described by the Pantone Color Institute as a “joyous color that encourages creativity and imaginative expression,” this year’s trendiest color is Very Peri — periwinkle blue with violet-red undertones. You’ll see all sorts of products in this color, including flower pots, patio umbrellas and other outdoor accessories.
Look for catmint, Spanish lavender, salvia and delphiniums to add a little Very Peri to your garden this season. It pairs perfectly with last year’s Color of the Year, Illuminating, a cheerful yellow.
Sharing Your Garden on Instagram and TikTok
All the world’s a stage, and you’ll find plant lovers from all walks of life sharing their houseplants, gardens and harvests every day through Instagram Stories and TikTok videos. It’s a simple way to build a sense of community from the comfort and safety of your home.
Share your successes, of course, but your failures will be even more well-received because they make your story more relatable. Remember how much fun show and tell time was in grade school? Now you can do it every day on social media.
Blending Indoor and Outdoor Spaces
Rather than viewing the home and garden as separate spaces, designers are working to seamlessly blend the two visually. Here are a few tricks you can try:
- Paint your walls with a soft wash of organic green using the Sherwin-Williams 2022 Color of the Year — Evergreen Fog.
- Use natural materials for your flooring that blend seamlessly with the outdoors.
- Make a feature wall using peel-and-stick removable wallpaper in a floral or grasscloth print.
- Paint high ceilings a soft sky blue.
- Pull back or remove curtains to let in more natural light.
- Place potted houseplants next to the slider door and just outside it on the deck.
Collectible Houseplants from Local Sources
Tiny, plant-packed houseplant shops are popping up in revitalized urban areas across the country. You’ll find three-inch potted plants for as little as $10 or as much as $1,000, depending on how rare the plant is. The more collectible they are, the more you can expect to pay.
Houseplant enthusiasts are a passionate bunch! Follow their adventures on Instagram and TikTok.
Similar to the Slow Flowers Movement, you won’t find most collectors shopping at mass merchants for plants produced far away and in bulk. The ones they seek are often propagated from a single leaf or stem, then passed along through close-knit local or social networks of some of the most ardent plant connoisseurs.